Chris Hedges Is Suing Obama Because Of NDAA.

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by MikeK, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. MikeK

    MikeK Gold Member

    Jun 11, 2010
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    Lakewood, New Jersey

    Why I’m Suing Barack Obama
    Monday 16 January 2012
    by: Chris Hedges, Truthdig | Report

    Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.

    The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties.

    I spent many years in countries where the military had the power to arrest and detain citizens without charge. I have been in some of these jails. I have friends and colleagues who have “disappeared” into military gulags. I know the consequences of granting sweeping and unrestricted policing power to the armed forces of any nation. And while my battle may be quixotic, it is one that has to be fought if we are to have any hope of pulling this country back from corporate fascism.

    Section 1031 of the bill defines a “covered person”—one subject to detention—as “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”

    The bill, however, does not define the terms “substantially supported,” “directly supported” or “associated forces.”

    I met regularly with leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. I used to visit Palestine Liberation Organization leaders, including Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad, in Tunis when they were branded international terrorists. I have spent time with the Revolutionary Guard in Iran and was in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey with fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. All these entities were or are labeled as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. What would this bill have meant if it had been in place when I and other Americans traveled in the 1980s with armed units of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua or the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front guerrillas in El Salvador? What would it have meant for those of us who were with the southern insurgents during the civil war in Yemen or the rebels in the southern Sudan? I have had dinner more times than I can count with people whom this country brands as terrorists. But that does not make me one.

    Once a group is deemed to be a terrorist organization, whether it is a Palestinian charity or an element of the Uighur independence movement, the military can under this bill pick up a U.S. citizen who supported charities associated with the group or unwittingly sent money or medical supplies to front groups. We have already seen the persecution and closure of Islamic charity organizations in the United States that supported the Palestinians. Now the members of these organizations can be treated like card-carrying “terrorists” and sent to Guantanamo.

    But I suspect the real purpose of this bill is to thwart internal, domestic movements that threaten the corporate state. The definition of a terrorist is already so amorphous under the Patriot Act that there are probably a few million Americans who qualify to be investigated if not locked up. Consider the arcane criteria that can make you a suspect in our new military-corporate state. The Department of Justice considers you worth investigating if you are missing a few fingers, if you have weatherproof ammunition, if you own guns or if you have hoarded more than seven days of food in your house. Adding a few of the obstructionist tactics of the Occupy movement to this list would be a seamless process. On the whim of the military, a suspected “terrorist” who also happens to be a U.S. citizen can suffer extraordinary rendition—being kidnapped and then left to rot in one of our black sites “until the end of hostilities.” Since this is an endless war that will be a very long stay.


    (Excerpt Close)

    Go here to read the entire article:

    I'm glad someone who is capable of understanding how dangerous this NDAA is has the temerity to do something to call attention to it. I'm amazed that Obama has gotten away with this so cleanly.

    I wish there was a Democrat alternative to Obama. I've already written to the DNC and asked them to put someone else up. I know they won't but I'm going to write in Kucinich, Nader, Bernie Sanders or Eliot Spitzer. I will not vote for Obama again.
  2. C_Clayton_Jones

    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

    Apr 28, 2011
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    In a Republic, actually
    It’s obvious that the persons filing the suit don’t understand the legislation, or its context in case law. The suit has no merit and Obama hasn’t ‘gotten away’ with anything.

    Per Section 1021(e) of the NDAA:

    AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

    ‘Existing law’ would be the 2004 Supreme Court case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, where the High Court ruled that American citizens were entitled to due process rights even if designated as an ‘enemy combatant’ by the Executive, and that the courts did not have to defer to the Executive on the issue, there being no separation of powers issues.

    Delusional nonsense.
  3. georgephillip

    georgephillip Gold Member Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2009
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    Los Angeles, California
    Last Wednesday(5/16/2012) US District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that Section 1021 of the NDAA was unconstitutional. Lead plaintiff Chris Hedges believes Forrest's decision stemmed primarily from the government's repeated refusals to guarantee all plaintiffs would not be charged under the law for their activities.

    "'At the hearing on this motion, the government was unwilling or unable to state that these plaintiffs would not be subject to indefinite detention under [Section] 1021,' Judge Forrest noted. 'Plaintiffs are therefore at risk of detention, of losing their liberty, potentially for many years.'

    "The government has 60 days to appeal. It can also, as Mayer and Afran have urged, accept the injunction that nullifies the law. If the government appeals, the case will go to a federal appellate court. The ruling, even if an appellate court upholds it, could be vanquished in the Supreme Court, especially given the composition of that court."

    Chris Hedges: A Victory for All of Us - Chris Hedges' Columns - Truthdig

    As Chris notes in his article, "...every once in a while the gods smile on the damned."

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